The Brief: During the Vice Presidential debate, Kamala Harris repeatedly said "I'm speaking" to Mike Pence while he was interrupting her, inspiring reactions, memes, and merch.
“I’m speaking” Kamala Harris memes refer to the Senator’s repeated assertions that she had the floor during the October 7th debate with current Vice President Mike Pence. While the VP debate was decidedly more civil than the presidential debate between Biden and Trump, there were moments where the vice-presidential candidates were speaking over each other as well. Senator Harris’ simple and firm statement that “I’m speaking” resonated for many women and Black women, in particular, who are familiar with the experience of men speaking over them and having their words go unheard.
— Girlboss (@girlboss) October 8, 2020
During the debate, as people reacted on social media, in group texts, and beyond, to Kamala Harris’ comments, it quickly became a catchphrase. Many women tweeted and commented about how the senator’s refusal to be interrupted represented a satisfying jab at the patriarchy. Memes celebrating this relatable and poignant phrase started spreading almost immediately after Senator Harris said it.
Excuse me, I’m speaking.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) October 8, 2020
“But I would like equal time.
I’m still speaking.”
~Women & Girls #VPDebate
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 8, 2020
— @tiffanydcross (@TiffanyDCross) October 8, 2020
“Excuse me, I am speaking right now” https://t.co/SYfkUCbH1b
— Lina Ghobashy (@linaaa_gh) October 8, 2020
“mr. vice president im SPEAKING” pic.twitter.com/ol8VuuX9h4
— Amirah 🦋 (@jalboyhamirah) October 8, 2020
— emma🌻 (@emmafilet) October 8, 2020
"Im speaking" pic.twitter.com/pvlkchZ0Cx
— ɴιcoɢι 🤺 (@flampper) October 8, 2020
A connection between Kamala Harris’ “I’m speaking” and Biden’s “will you shut up, man,” which also became a meme:
IM SPEAKING has the same energy as pic.twitter.com/C7HmIFvVBw
— gav🪐 (@gaviinng) October 8, 2020
“I’m speaking” t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other merch are already being sold across the web.
They’ll make a “Im Speaking” shirt by tomorrow
— Nigeria's🇳🇬Finest™ (@DMV_Drummerboyy) October 8, 2020
A nod to the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head:
kamala: MR VICE PRESIDENT, IM SPEAKING
the fly on pence’s head: pic.twitter.com/j5EWbwFdiE
— carson miller (@cgmiller717) October 8, 2020
We’re waiting for the iMarkkeys remix…
— Lindsey Kelk (@LindseyKelk) October 8, 2020
iM sPeAkInG pic.twitter.com/xr2d1RHJ55
— ben raffi (@BRaffier) October 8, 2020